MDSolarSciences Brings on the Sunshine In Conversation with CEO Renee Plato
Good skincare starts with science & SPF. Meet CEO of MDSolarSciences, Renee Plato, to talk summer, self-care, and philosophies for success.
Good skincare starts with science — and SPF. According to the brand website, “MDSolarSciences was founded on the belief that wearing sunscreen every day is a step towards a healthier, brighter future.” As such, each luxurious formulation is dermatologist-developed, sustainable, vegan and cruelty-free. Whether you’re searching for a mineral sunscreen, a BB cream, a lip balm or moisturizer, almost all the shoppable products are equipped with SPF. Why? Because sun care is skincare!
In fact, no one knows this better than CEO, Renee Plato. Thanks to her background in brand building, consumer engagement, and digital marketing, Renee leads MDSolarSciences with an emphasis on growth. As a former executive at The Walt Disney Company and Univision, Renee is a powerhouse leader with a passion for transparent and ethical skincare. BWB sat down with Renee to talk summertime, self-care rituals, and philosophies for success.
What is your brand’s point of difference?
We have a number of differences between our brand and other skincare brands. If I were to quantify it, I’d say we have three main differences. The first is how we feel — our formulas feel like cashmere for your skin. The second is that all our formulas are developed by a leading dermatologist, so they’re highly efficacious. And three, all our formulas are clean and come in fully recyclable packaging.
What are the top three priorities for your brand in the next 12 months?
Our number one top priority is making MDSolarSciences available across major e-commerce platforms and retailers. We have an unbelievable product and a strong story. It’s time to get the word out about MDSolarSciences and make true skin wellness more accessible to all. Everyone deserves quality skincare.
So much has changed over the last year. How did you pivot? What long-term lessons will you take away?
We had to make some really hard decisions in order to remain healthy. Two out of three of our major distribution channels were shut down, including doctors’ offices, spas and pharmacies. But, through astringent focus and strategic monitoring, we were able to grow our business. Fourteen percent closed, so we pivoted to a strong e-commerce push, while scaling back our marketing efforts. In the end, we were still 33% more profitable YOY. We learned we can do more with less. The proverb “work smarter not harder” definitely applied over the last 12 months.
Morning beauty routine?
Workout or walk outside. It clears the mind and gives me a beautiful outlook on the day. A beautiful inside leads to a beautiful outside. Then I shower and apply moisturizer and our everyday eye gel afterward.
The ideal day-to-night outfit?
The little black dress is my staple. Although, my daughter reminds me a little color would be nice… But that’s where lips come in, my dear!
How do you stay energized and motivated throughout the day?
Stress… It’s the best motivator and certainly gives me energy. In all seriousness, getting up from behind my desk and checking in with the team. I like to hear what’s going on, how I can help and I like seeing people. It is such a treat to see people after 12 months of working from home!
Your summer skincare routine?
I wear more SPF in the summer, for sure. A good cleanser that is meant for mineral SPF is a must (check out our new cleanser coming in August). I also use a toner to take care of extra oil that occurs in humid weather.
An indispensable accessory?
My rings; I’m always trying out new ones. They make me happy! Simple pleasures…
Beauty tips to maintain a healthyglow throughout summer?
Drink water! Healthy insides lead to healthy skin. Don’t forget to hydrate and get sleep. Sleep is the best luxury. AND, I add a little sparkle to my skin with a light bronzer if I’m out at night.
When you’re optimistic, it’s amazing how you can do just about anything.
How do you stay optimistic?
My husband jokes I’m the most optimistic person he’s ever met. Maybe I’m just really good at internalizing things! Actually, I have a lot of faith in people and our ability to help each other. Working out, staying grounded, remembering we’re all human. Smiles go a long way. When you’re optimistic, it’s amazing how you can do just about anything.
A conviction that grows stronger with years?
If you don’t like something, CHANGE IT. Don’t make excuses.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Take more time to listen rather than trying to be heard. This is difficult to do when you’re young, especially as a woman in technology. I had a great boss at The Walt Disney Company who stressed this, and he was so right. Ask yourself, are you busy listening or busy trying to be heard? You learn when you listen, not when you’re talking…
Teresa Deely is a graduate from Columbia University with majors in English and Creative Writing. She is a freelance writer and marketing assistant working for clients in the wellness, jewelry, creative, and sports industries. She believes that one’s skin is yet another canvas and vehicle for art, and has loved styling her hair and applying makeup from a young age. Spending much of her time in educating youth and leading enrichment programs for children, she is highly motivated in discovering new ways to care for herself and sharing them with others.